Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Royal Arches

I am now a true climber. I have done a huge climb.

On Saturday my regular climbing friend and I did Royal Arches in Yosemite Valley.  It is 15 pitches.  1,600 feet. We started at 9:00 am and got down to the bottom at 9:00 pm. Below is a view from the field near the campground.  The climb is left of center and you rap down to the right of that black vertical streak (which is usually water).

To the left here is a view of the pendulum traverse from below. The person on the right up there has to hold on to a fixed line with one arm, run across the rock, and grab a rock on the other side and then let go of the rope.  Sounds easy?  Ha. Well, I tried 4 times and couldn't do it on lead. If I could have continued to try, I would have gotten it, I think. But the thing with doing a long climb is you gotta keep moving. So my friend came up, did it, and then belayed me. I still had to do it, which I did. Not prettily at all. I got my fingers on the shelf, but not the good part. So I'm splat against the rock holding on with 2 fingers, my right arm holding the rope, my legs out to the right and my body against the rock. I managed to push with my toes to get to the good hold and then let go. Crazy!  

I ran out of water at hour 8, right before we started rappelling. Luckily I had a bag of candy, which I took some of at almost every rap, and that kept me going. I was shocked when my friend said no to me asking for water. "how long have you been climbing?  you should have rationed it"  I've never ever done such a long climb or run out of water!  But whatever. I sucked it up (so to speak) and didn't ask again.

Below is a photo of two women we had to rescue twice. They were simul-rappelling and missed the bolts, and thus screwed, since when you simul-rap you have to be balanced on the rope, so it's really hard to go anywhere.

Above is sunset from high up
There was an almost full moon and it was so gorgeous to see it rising and illuminating the rocks.

Rap station.

 The view into the valley from a rap station

We went to the hoity toity hotel afterwards to have a drink and food (it was the only place open). Dumped our stuff on the floor. Dirty. Smelly.  But what wonderful water!  And food!!


laura b. said...

I cannot even imagine doing what you do. I am in such awe!

Tara said...

I'm envious, that sounds and looks so exciting to do.

3GKnight said...

Very cool! Jealous!

Churlita said...

Wow. You are a bad ass. I have done some super easy,low climbs, but I could never do anything like that.

Pamela said...

Believe me, I never thought I'd be able to do it. It's a great feeling.

Mel said...

Holy cow.....what an accomplishment and a half!!
AND I'm thinking you learned about rationing water. :-/

Vlad Steven said...

Yeiii Buenas rutas